Dawn's Early Light: Ralph McGill and the Segregated South (1989)
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Colorful, outspoken, a man of many contradictions, Ralph McGill emerged during the troubled years of the 1950s and ’60s as a prominent and influential Southern white opponent of segregation and one of America’s most revered newspaper editors. As he became convinced of the injustice of segregation and the inevitability of change, McGill used his front-page editorial column in the Atlanta Constitution as a Southern forum for his distinctive blend of moral outrage and pragmatic moderation. McGill’s life is a touchstone for understanding the complex array of forces that dramatically reshaped the South and America in the quarter-century after World War II. These elements are blended with rare archival film, compelling contemporary images and a rich musical score to create an unusually moving and evocative film.